Director Neeraj Pandey is stepping away from his usual genre of suspense and patriotic films like ‘Baby’ (2015) and is now attempting a patriotic film with a biopic angle with ‘MS Dhoni – The Untold Story’. Based on the life of famous cricketer and ex-captain of the Indian cricket team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, this is an interesting biopic project for someone young and still active in their field. His character is played by Sushant Singh Rajput along with Anupam Kher, Kiara Advani, Bhumika Chawla and Disha Patani in supporting roles. The trailer looks interesting with focus not a lot on cricket but also his personal life. Yet another sports film this year following ‘Sultan’ (2016) and ‘Azhar’ (2016), expectations are high from this film considering Dhoni’s popularity and media hype. The music of the film is almost single handedly being managed by Amaal Mallik with one song contributed by Rochak Kohli. Lyrics by Manoj Muntashir should have romance, fun, aspiration and possibly some cheeky party tune as well.
Starting with Besabriyaan in the voice of brother Armaan Malik, the album starts on a good note with a strong melody that is aspirational and thematic in nature. Malik�۪s soft vocals work very nicely in favour of the song. He has good control as he goes through the high and lows of the song. The lyrics are all about achieving and striving for better that are in a smooth flow. The combination of these lyrics with Malik�۪s vocals is quite refreshing with a modern vibe. The composition is very standard though but what is not is the instrumentation with some really good solos on the bridge and chorus. Amaal gives the song a very authentic touch even on a clich̩ composition so as that the overall song works.
Kaun Tujhe in the voice of Palak Muchhal is a gorgeous melody. The romantic vibes with soft ambient flutes, keyboard, chimes and violins are stunning to listen to. The arrangement is a standard setup with a very typical flow but Amaal once again excels in how he conducts his band to deliver a very natural sound. This musical piece has tons of depth and ambience to it with the vocals playing a major role in that too. Muchhal makes is sound effortless and simply beautiful. Although it sounds rather monotonous throughout, it is soulful and stunning to listen to. The lyrics are charming and have a good flow to them to make one fall in love instantly. It’s a good female only romantic song to listen to.
Malik gets back on the mic for perhaps the best written song so far that is also stunningly arranged. Jab Tak talks about the smallest moments and instances of when lovers meet in a very engaging way that quite easily tugs on the heart strings. For a short less and 3 minute song, Amaal packs in a large array of instruments that sounds expansive and whole. The actual recording and arrangement is brilliant on this song with a very unique and melodic sound. Very touching, deeply romantic and a must listen!
Phir Kabhi features the voice of Arijit Singh and is perhaps the most popular song on the album already with this song already making a mark on radio and TV plays. It is all thanks to the simplicity of the lyrics that Manoj has composed in an epic way along with the absolute pristine vocal delivery by Singh. He sounds better than perfect on this song without any vocal libs. Amaal does an exceptional job on this song with a brilliant composition. His choice of instruments magnify and compliment the vocals perfectly. The sound is soothing and deeply emotional. The song sounds simple but the melody and instrumentation are super complex. A truly brilliant romantic song that grows on you.
Indi rock star Siddharth Basrur delivers Parwah Nahin next that is an interesting alternative rock composition that is not commonly heard on a Bollywood soundtrack. Considering the nature of the song and its rebel lyrics, the choice of musical genre and vocal artist is quite apt. Basrur makes it powerful but with a lot of attitude. The instrumentation with focus mainly on drums and electric lead and bass guitars are very well recorded. The lead guitar solo is brilliant and perfectly clean in its recording. This is an anthem song for all rockers and should work well with all the sporting action as a background piece in the film.
Jab Tak (Redux) is an extension of the original Jab Tak with alternative stanza lyrics but with the same chorus. The lyrics explore different romantic feelings than what it did in the original. The music is slightly different to with fuller instrumentation with soft rock rendition to it. Malik�۪s vocals are equally good with a lot more vocal adlibs that showcase his talent and capabilities. One would love this version as much as the original.
Indian Idol Junior 2015 winner Ananya Nanda makes her Bollywood debut on Padhoge Likhoge. Also featuring the voice of Adithyan A Prithviraj, the song is fun and an iconic childhood song that is the verbal battle of every kid growing up as one tries to balance fun & games with education. The lyrics are simple but fun and quite easy for kids to relate to. The vocal performances are average though with not much scope to impress. The composition is set to a street party tune with south Indian vibes to it. Nothing spectacular in this song although kids across India would love to sing this one as they all aspire to become Cricket champs.
Rochak Kohli of Pani Da Rang fame from ��Vicky Donor�۪ (2012) gives Amaal a break for the last song on the album with the title song Har Gully Mein Dhoni Hai. He composes and even sings the song in his deep vibrato voice that quickly changes to a high pitch voice keeping good control throughout. The lyrics are inspiring and talk about never giving up and fighting through life�۪s challenges to get to where one aspires to and works perfectly for an inspirational story like the one at hand. The best part of the song is the composition that starts soft & slow perhaps in the locker room and then picks up to climax at the chorus in what sounds like a packed out stadium with the crowd doing the vocal lib together. It�۪s all beautifully arranged and quite interesting to hear. Although this is a very situational song and easy to look over on commercial broadcast playouts and will thus not get its due recognition.
The soundtrack of ��MS Dhoni – The Untold Story�۪ is extensive with eight songs that range from average to very good. The album has variety but surprisingly a lot of romantic focus with a good number of songs in that genre even though it is a biopic sports film. There are a few good inspiring songs too with only a good party song missing on the commercial music front. Amaal does a really good job on his first full album considering he has only contributed one to four songs on all his previous film projects. He is clearly the star of the album and truly skilled as a composer. He uses his brother, Armaan�۪s vocal talent very well on Besabriyaan and Jab Tak that are both good songs. Arijit Singh and Palak Muchhal steal the show on Phir Kabhi and Kaun Tujhe that are the star songs on the album. Rochak Kohli and Siddharth Basrur contribute really well to the album as well on Har Gully Mein Dhoni Hai and Parwah Nahin respectively. They are all well recorded and well performed instrumentally along with consistently good lyrics on all songs by Manoj Muntashir. Overall the album has good vocal, lyrical and musical talent in solo performances with no exaggerated or forced music. But the success of the film will play a major role in deciding the success of its music with the lack of major stars on screen or big superhit songs on the album.
BizAsia Showbiz Rating ��� 7.5/10